See Chicago and St. Louis like never before on this 12 rail adventure. Start by spending two nights in Chicago at the world fameous Drake Hotel. Enjoy the city and all it has to offer, including a grand welcome brunch at the Signature Room on the 95th Floor of the John Hancock Building and a special "Chicago at Sunset" cruise on Lake Michigan along with a visit to wonderfully restored Navy Pier. After Chicago, you will board your own special train and make your way to St. Louis while enjoying the luxury of your brass-railed Presidential train cars.
On July 5th, we have an in-depth tour of St. Louis with visits to Forest Park, the Cathedral of St. Louis and the Missouri Botanical Gardens before the highlight of the trip, boarding the legendary American Queen and steaming north, up the Mississippi to St. Paul, a journey back in time to a gentler, slower time, a front porch seat on a small-town America unspoiled by strip malls, highways and traffic jams. Once aboard the Steamboat, in addition to fine dining, some of best entertainment afloat, mint juleps on deck and all of the other delights of ‘Steamboating’, there are special parties and events for our guests, both aboard the boat and ashore, one of the many nice features of a holiday with a professional tour manager. Naturally, at the end of the Steamboat passage, deluxe hotel accommodations await along with sightseeing and a special Farewell dinner.
- Complimentary train travel to Chicago from any US city when booked early. Guests with less time may take advantage of our special $99.00 airfare to Chicago when booking early.
- Fully hosted by professional tour manager from start to finish, to handle all of the details, making your holiday even more enjoyable.
- Two night deluxe hotel stay at the Drake Hotel in Chicago overlooking Lake Michigan the best and most convenient location in town.
- Welcome reception the evening of July 2nd at the Drake Hotel in Chicago, a nice way to get to meet your fellow travelers.
- "Our Chicago" program including Evening cocktail cruise at Sunset on Lake Michigan and a grand welcome brunch at the Signature Room atop the John Hancock Building.
- Private train passage from Chicago to St. Louis aboard our own 'Independence Day Special' with all meals, wines and spirits while aboard included, a five-hour 'day trip' in great comfort and style.
- Overnight suite accommodations at the Embassy Suites in St. Louis including Happy Hour with complimentary drinks and full breakfast the next morning.
- St. Louis sightseeing tour before boarding the American Queen on sailing day including Forest Park, the Cathedral of St. Louis and the Missouri Botanical Gardens. There is even time to go in 'The Arch' today.
- Seven-night Steamboat cruise aboard the American Queen from St. Louis to St. Paul in cabin category chosen. Naturally, all meals & entertainment while aboard are included.
- ‘Glorious Galena’, a special complimentary shore excursion to historic and charming Galena, Illinois during our port call in Dubuque, Iowa.
- Minneapolis/St. Paul sightseeing tour upon arrival including Nicollet Island.
- Overnight hotel stay in St. Paul in suite accommodations including Farewell Dinner and breakfast at the Hilton at the Ballpark.
Day 1 - Arrival in Chicago
Guests arrive in Chicago today and check in to the fabulous Drake Hotel overlooking Lake Michigan and begin an indulgent two-night stay in this acclaimed luxury hotel. Tonight is the special welcome reception overlooking Lake Michigan. Overnight at the Drake Hotel.
Day 2 - Overnight Chicago
All day to enjoy everything Chicago has to offer beginning with a lavish welcome brunch in the elegant Signature Room on the 95th floor of the John Hancock Building, a high point in dining. Great shopping in the form of Bloomingdales, Marshall Field’s and Barneys is across the street as is a perfect beach. Guests have all day and evening to enjoy the Windy City. Tonight features a special evening cocktail cruise at sunset on Lake Michigan. Overnight at the Drake Hotel.
Day 3 - All Aboard
You depart the hotel this morning and board our special train, the "Independence Day Special" bound for St. Louis. En route, you will enjoy the open-platform Presidential car, vintage interiors, big picture windows, an open bar and meal service as you roll south over the former Gulf, Mobile & Ohio Railroad. Upon arrival in St. Louis, you transfer to the superbly located Embassy Suites Hotel at Laclede's Landing, a perfect location for viewing the spectacular fireworks show tonight! Overnight at the Embassy Suites.
Day 4 - Set Sail
All morning to sleep in or explore St. Louis at your own pace before the afternoon departure for a complete sightseeing tour of this historic city, taking in Forest Park, the lovely Cathedral of St. Louis and the Missouri Botanical Gardens. Later, board the American Queen docked right under the Arch, and at 7pm the calliope plays, the big red paddlewheel turns and you set sail on our voyage of discovery through America. Tonight is also the welcome cocktail party as all guests steam up the mighty Mississippi.
Day 5 - On the River
The perfect morning to sleep in since all day is spent Steamboatin’ up the Mississippi with time to catch up with a new book, fly a kite or simply relax on "The Front Porch of America" with an ice-cold lemonade watching passing towns drift by.
Day 6 - Hannibal
The next port of call is charming Hannibal, Missouri. There is even a chance to explore the famous cave Mark Twain vividly described during your visit.
Day 7 - On the River
All day steamboating past some of the prettiest scenery in America as the steam calliope toots and entire towns turn out to witness the American Queen passing. Today is the famous Southern picnic with platters of fried chicken, baked ham, gumbo, mud pie and other Southern specialties.
Day 8 - Dubuque
Dubuque, IA with its antique stores and Victorian buildings welcomes you today. Also planned is a very special visit to wonderful Galena, Illinois.
Day 9 - La Crosse
Picturesque La Crosse, WI with its great collection of Frank Lloyd Wright homes, lovely riverfront, small shops (including one of the best cheese stores in the country) welcomes us today.
Day 10 - Red Wing
Historic Red Wing, MN with its quaint downtown center, 19th century storefronts and very busy railroad mainline is your final port of call today. Later in the evening the Captains Farewell Dinner is featured aboard the American Queen.
Day 11 - St. Paul
Disembark in St. Paul and enjoy a city sightseeing tour of the Twin Cities before our arrival at the very comfortable Hilton at the Ball Park. Later tonight, the special Farewell Dinner.
Day 12 - Journey Home!
Guests return home by air or train today from St. Paul. For guests that would like to return to Chicago, a complimentary train transfer to downtown Chicago is available. Passengers may disembark in Glenview, IL for nearby O’Hare airport.